The first public workshop devoted to reviewing and refining the suggested design for a new National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), an initiative proposed by President Obama, will be held Jan. 16, 2013, at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration in Huntsville, Ala.
"Blueprint for Action: Workshop on the Design of the NNMI" will review the design developed from extensive public input received through four public dialogue workshops as well as responses to a Request for Information. In addition to feedback on the resulting design, this workshop also seeks input on new questions related to the formation and operations of the proposed network's regional Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation (IMIs).
The workshop is organized by the federal interagency Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office (AMNPO), in cooperation with stakeholders and local organizations. The Department of Defense will host the event and additional support is being provided by NASA and the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
In early January, the AMNPO intends to publish a draft NNMI "concept paper" that presents the office's preliminary design proposal on the objectives, organization, governance, operations, and activities of the network and its institutes. The proposed design draws on input from more than 800 people and organizations through participation in four regional workshops or ideas submitted on the NNMI design in response to the formal information request issued last May by the AMNPO.
The proposed design also draws on recommendations contained in several reviews of the nation's manufacturing and innovation performance, including the recent report by the presidentially appointed Steering Committee of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership. That report, endorsed in July by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, called for the creation of "public-private partnerships to foster regional ecosystems in advanced manufacturing technologies."
As envisioned, the NNMI will be a network of regional hubs—each anchored by an IMI—that will connect technologically promising research discoveries and ideas for advanced, high-value-added products with existing U.S. manufacturers and aspiring start-up firms. Regional collaborations will bring together industry, universities and community colleges, federal agencies and states to accelerate innovation by investing in industrially relevant manufacturing technologies with broad applications and to support education and training of an advanced manufacturing workforce.
While each of the competitively selected IMIs will have its own technical focus, all will integrate capabilities and facilities required to reduce the cost and risk of commercializing new technologies and to address relevant manufacturing challenges on a production-level scale.
The president's fiscal year 2013 budget request included $1 billion in one-time funding to build the NNMI. The federal investment would be matched by funding from the private sector and state and local government organizations.
The workshop will be held at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, One Tranquility Base, Huntsville. Capacity is limited. Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis, with no more than four representatives from the same organization. The registration fee is $50 per attendee, which covers attendee materials and meal and beverage costs.
Online registration will begin on or about Dec. 4 and will end Jan. 7, 2013. Workshop information and a link to the registration site is available at manufacturing.gov/event_011613.html (link no longer works).
AMNPO partner agencies include the Department of Commerce and its National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy's Advanced Manufacturing Office, Department of Labor, NASA, and the National Science Foundation.